You think being an American teenager was challenging, try being a good Muslim on top of it. It’s a tiny minority in our culture. Most Americans know very little about what life is like as a Muslim in our country. Our guest sociologist John O’Brien (a Muslim himself) lived for nearly¬† four years among typical teenagers and reports what he found in his new book: Keeping It Halal: The Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage Boys. They have all the difficulties and questions any other teen in America deals with: being cool, romantic confusion, pressures from home and school, plus the question of keeping alive one’s cultural identity in the face of widespread Islamophobia. And you know what? They’re doing just fine.

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